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Is NBC News trying to fire Donald Trump's presidential bid?

April 8, 2011 | 10:51 am

Donald Donald Trump says "you're fired" every week to a contestant on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice." But the news division working for Trump's bosses at NBC appear to be drawing up termination papers for Trump's bid to run for president.

NBC Nightly News on Thursday unleashed a scathing attack on Trump, positioning him as a blowhard making false and contradictory statements as he escalates his hopes for candidacy. The report by senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers focused on Trump's controversial statements claiming President Obama wasn't born in the U.S.

Though it was unusual for a network to take a shot at one of its most high-profile personalities, the report may also have been a response to criticism surrounding "Today Show" anchor Meredith Vieira's interview earlier that day of Trump. Some media critics blasted Vieira for not aggressively challenging Trump, who talked over her when she tried to press him.

With Trump placing second in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of potential Republican presidential candidates, the report said that Trump needed to be taken seriously, and that his recent pronouncements ranged from "the broad to the exaggerated to just plain wrong."

After playing clips of Trump saying there was no official documentation about Obama's birth, Myers showed a certificate of live birth, complete with a serial number, and a birth announcement from a newspaper in Hawaii. Myers said when she confronted Trump with the documentation, he stood by his statements.

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Donald Trump. Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters